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Microbial ecogenomics and forensic science: New methods for investigating clandestine grave sites

Ralebitso-Senior, TK, Thompson, TJU and Carney, HE (2016) Microbial ecogenomics and forensic science: New methods for investigating clandestine grave sites. Human Remains & Violence, 2 (1). pp. 41-57. ISSN 2054-2240

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Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.7227/HRV.2.1.4 (Published version)


In the mid-1990s, the crime scene toolkit was revolutionised by the introduction of DNA-based analyses such as the polymerase chain reaction, low copy number DNA analysis, short-tandem repeat typing, pulse-field gel electrophoresis and variable number tandem repeat. Since then, methodological advances in other disciplines, especially molecular microbial ecology, can now be adapted for cutting-edge applications in forensic contexts. Despite several studies and discussions, there is, however, currently very little evidence of these techniques’ adoption at the contemporary crime scene. Consequently, this article discusses some of the popular ‘omics’ and their current and potential exploitations in the ‘forensic ecogenomics’ of body decomposition in a crime scene. Thus, together with published supportive findings and discourse, knowledge gaps are identified. These then justify the need for more comprehensive, directed, concerted and global research towards state-of-the-art microecophysiology method application and/or adaptation for subsequent successful exploitations in this additional context of microbial forensics.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Forensic science; Crime scene; Molecular microbial ecology; Ecogenomics
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Q Science > QR Microbiology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
Divisions: Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2018 11:58
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2023 16:07
DOI or ID number: 10.7227/HRV.2.1.4
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8204
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